Baron Armin Hagen Freiherr von Hoyningen-Huene was born in 1942 in Łódź, Poland and grew up in Berlin. And right now you are probably thinking, who is this guy and what is he all about ? In his early 20s, he worked for an interview program on German television, photographing some of Europe‘s biggest celebrities and film stars. Maybe you will better recognize the man by his stage name Peter Berlin – a photographer, artist, filmmaker, clothing designer/sewer, model and gay sex icon who burst into the limelight in the early to mid-1970s. 

More than forty years ago, Peter Berlin created some of the most recognizable gay male erotic imagery of the time, which quickly established him as an international sensation.

He became famous for his ‚selfies‘ long before most of the current smart phone & Instagram generation was even born. He redefined self-portraiture and became an international sensation as his own photographer, model, and fashion designer – later making his living by publishing and selling his photographs in San Francisco. Berlin also modeled for big names like Mapplethorp, Tom of Finland and Andy Warhol.

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With his professional photographic project I would like to point out that it is probably more of a self documentation of his performance art, in acts of posing, cruising, wearing his trademark skin tight fashions – this was the ultimate point of his ambitions. Through his life catalog of skillfully composed and printed photographs, in the end we view them as a personal recording and documentation of the huge part that Peter Berlin played in the gay sexual revolution. You could even say that he was a major player in contributing to the achievement of artistic legitimacy for erotic gay subject matter as a whole.

I also find it very fitting as we are gearing up for the yearly madness of Hustlaball Berlin this month to give credit to Mr. Berlin for his pioneering work that brought the genre of gay male erotic films to their current artistic legitimacy – starring in his two flicks Nights in Black Leather (1973) and That Boy (1974) that both played for years to packed movie houses, long before today‘s media standards of PPV and online streaming that we all now take for granted.

Although he has since mostly retreated from the public eye, he continues to make videos of himself and still quietly resides in San Francisco, where he is frequently recognized and greeted by name on the streets by his fans. I give huge kudos to the Baron of Porn, Peter Berlin.

Currently on exhibition at ClampArt gallery in the heart of the Chelsea art district of Manhattan, there is a meticulous sampling of classics by from Berlin‘s life collection co- curated by Eric Smith and Mark Garrett.

 

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WANTED: Peter Berlin – self portraits from the 1970‘s and early 1980‘s“

This event will be on display through the 10th October.

More information on their website: www.clampart.com

*all images courtesy of CLAMPART and copyright of Peter Berlin (b.1942) and a special thanks to Andrew Kurczak of CLAMPART

Black Boot for Boner Magazine

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